As I was getting a few minutes of “elliptical time” this weekend, I watched NY1 — the only channel my apartment gym gets these days. Because NY1 only broadcasts the latest news around NYC, you end up seeing the same scenes and bite-sized stories about seven times over the course of a workout.
This weekend, one scene caught my attention. Graffiti artists in Long Island City were pushing to have “5 Pointz” turned into a historical landmark. Why now? The City is looking to demolish it and build two residential towers in its place. By turning 5 Pointz into a landmark, the graffiti mecca is saved
As a New Yorker, I totally sympathize with need to create more housing. Apartments are in high demand and extremely expensive. The more we can build, the better for everyone.
But in this case, I share the passion for the 5 Pointz protestors. This site doesn’t represent just another mural on a side street. It’s a museum of graffiti from a whole slew of international artists.
If you’ve read many of our past posts, you know that I’m a huge proponent of beautifying our cities. But is beauty more important than housing? Maybe. While housing does shelter a large number of people, beauty enhances everyone who sees it. And that enhancement can lead to happiness, inspiration and hope.
So, is graffiti art worth a protest, even the cessation of important construction? Yes.